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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Graduate Assistantships

Document Number: HR--188 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Date Last Updated: 03/11/2016
Primary Author: Director of Human Resources Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 02/02/2012

General Description

Information about graduate assistantships relative to HR policy.


Delineation of policy.


All faculty, staff, students, and administrators

Responsibility: Academic Affairs
Human Resources

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general

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Policy Provisions

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate students will be able to receive a Cumberland University Graduate Assistantship (GA) each year. Interested students that meet the Cumberland University Graduate Program requirements may apply for a GA by completing the application located in the office of the Director of Human Resources and available on the graduate programs page of the university website.

1. A graduate assistant must be accepted and enrolled in a Cumberland University graduate degree program, which means he or she has completed all graduate admissions procedures, as well as completed a baccalaureate degree. A prospective GA must provide the Director of Human Resources a copy of their acceptance letter into A CU graduate degree program. Once the prospective GA has COMPLTED the acceptance process for the chosen Graduate Program, they must complete the GA application/paperwork and return it to the Director of Human Resources.

2. Graduate Assistants must be enrolled for a minimum of six (6) semester hours of graduate work each semester during their assistantship term. A maximum of twelve (12) credit hours may be taken each semester during their assistantship. GA personnel are only allowed to earn one graduate degree while serving as an assistant.

3. Graduate Assistants are to maintain no less than a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate coursework to remain in good standing and retain the Assistantship. When a GA's GPA falls below the minimum required, the student is automatically placed on probation and must petition the Vice President for Academic Affairs through his/her Program Director to continue in course work in any graduate program of Cumberland University. If the student does not meet the university requirements to be removed from probation in one semester, the student will be officially withdrawn from the program as stated in the University Catalog.

4. Graduate Assistants must be enrolled in courses that lead toward the completion of a graduate degree in the student's Program of Study. The payment associated with course(s) not in the student's Program of Study will be the responsibility of the GA.

5. A Graduate Assistant is first and foremost a graduate STUDENT and his/her academic responsibilities take priority over all other responsibilities relative to their assigned assistantship.

6. Graduate Assistants are to demonstrate leadership and responsibility through their actions, upholding the highest professional standards in both their academic and personal endeavors. Failure to uphold University standards, any issue(s) of poor performance, and/or misconduct will lead to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including loss of the Assistantship. If a GA is accused of violating Cumberland University's Policy and/or Procedures and/or local or state laws, they should notify their supervisor. In turn, their supervisor should notify the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will decide if the Disciplinary Committee needs to intervene.

7. Graduate Assistants are expected to maintain only professional relationships with Cumberland University students. Prohibited relationships with undergraduate students include but are not limited to, romantic relationships, sharing living quarters, and/or other inappropriate socializing with undergraduate students. Failure to exercise professional judgment in avoiding such relationships will result in disciplinary sanctions, up to and including loss of the Assistantship.

8. Graduate Assistants will only be allowed to change programs after their first six credit hours in their originally selected program. This allows an opportunity for the student to determine if the program is a match for their career plans. The opportunity to change programs will be offered one time only and only at the end of the Assistants first six credit hours.

9. Failure to serve for the entire term/semester/year will result in the total cost of the current semester being the responsibility of the GA.



To assist the division/department/program as directed by the supervisor, 20 hours per week for the term awarded. This is to include times that students are not in classes but the University is open for regular business hours. e.g., Spring and Fall Breaks, Holiday Breaks, etc. Graduate Assistants are not to have teaching responsibilities for any course or class except under special circumstances, e.g. standing in temporarily for a qualified instructor who is unable to meet a regularly scheduled class. Each case in which a GA might be asked to represent a university faculty member before a class must be approved by the dean.


Graduate Assistant Waiver


For services as a GA, a 100% tuition remission will be awarded for graduate classes taken at Cumberland University. Fees, books, graduation fee, etc. will be the responsibility of the student. Assistantships are renewed annually based on evaluations of the GA by his/her supervisor; being granted an assistantship in one year does not guarantee eligibilty for following years.


Housing and meal waivers are not available to all Graduate Assistants and must be requested through the dean of the program in which the assistantship is located. Housing and meal waivers are granted very infrequently. If approved, a GA wishing to live in On-Campus Residence Hall may apply for housing by completing the required housing application and paying the $200 deposit. A Room Waiver and 14-meal Plan may be awarded as part of the on-campus assistantship.



1. Interested students that meet the Cumberland University Graduate Program requirements should submit their resume and a completed application of consideration to the dean. This application is located in the office of the Director of Human Resources and must be completed to proceed. Deadline for applications: Fall Term – June 30th, Spring Term – November 30th and Summer Term – March 30th.

2. The application and resume will be forwarded to the supervisor of the assigned GA position for consideration.

3. The supervisor will interview each GA candidate and if he/she meets all prerequisites for admission to the graduate program of his/her choice will recommend their selection to their department head. Before being awarded the GA Position, the candidate must interview with program director of the graduate degree program he/she wishes to enter and the direct supervisor of the position.

4. The chosen candidate will be notified before July 15th for Fall Semester, December 15th for Spring Semester and April 15th for Summer Semester. Applications and recommendations received after the above dates may result in the position not being assigned.

5. Upon the approval of the dean and VPAA, the Director of Human Resources will award the Assistantship.

6. Students receiving Graduate Assistantships must remit payment of fees, etc., not covered by the assistantship, to the Business Office.


Graduate Assistant and Supervisor Expectations: Performance Evaluation Process


1. The Supervisor will be required to complete a Performance Evaluation Form on the assigned Graduate Assistant(s) within his/her area of operation at the end of each semester. The Performance Evaluation should include the Assistant's Current GPA for the semester. If the GPA of a GA is below the required 3.0 GPA, they will automatically be placed on Academic Probation per university policy and are subject to all requirements of that policy. The completed Performance Evaluation will be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources no later than two weeks after grades are issued at the end of each semester.

2. All Graduate Assistants will be required to attend an orientation meeting at the beginning of each semester. The meeting will train the GA on policies and procedures. The meeting will also provide Assistants an opportunity to suggest improvements and voice any concerns with the program. GAs should be registered for their classes two weeks before the mandatory meeting. During the meeting, the Financial Aid department will enter their tuition wavier and the business office will make them official. The business office will also be available to collect any fees applicable to individual Assistants, i.e. graduation fees. The supervisor of the Graduate Assistant will set individual expectations defined by the individual departments. All Graduate Assistants will be contacted by email and their supervisors will be notified in advance as to the time and location of the meeting.


Any exception to the above policies will require the written approval of the President of the University. The University follows its standard EOE policies when awarding Graduate Assistantships. The contents of the policy and procedures above supersede all other printed documents, previously awarded remission(s), and oral information concerning the Educational Assistance Program/Graduate Assistantships of Cumberland University.

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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of privileges

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GA Agreement
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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Academic Affairs Support Staff

Director of Human Resources

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